OTA2 Update for December 2015

At the end of December 2015 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.83 million. There are 5.53 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.94 million.

The following is an update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2.
Members of the OTA2 team also chair several Industry forums:-

  • Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group (CFPCG)
  • Copper & Fibre Products Process Group (CFPPG)
  • Service Management Forum (SMF)
  • Number Port Process & Commercial Group (NPP&CG)
  • Ethernet Transformation Steering Group (ETSG)
  • Ethernet Commercial Group (ECG)
  • Infrastructure Service Forum (ISF, ex-Plan & Build Forum)
  • Consumer Switching Industry Forum (CSIF)

SLA/SLG Work streams

Copper and Fibre

A 3rd tranche of SLA/SLG had been submitted on 10 November 2015 comprising of 10 proposals; six from CPs and four from Openreach. These are being dealt with under the FAMR process, so the formal end date of negotiations is 10 May 2016. The proposals relate to:

  • Payment of missed appointment SLGs for cancelled orders and faults
  • Payment of Late Repair SLGs following an incorrect Line Test OK (LTOK) response
  • Payment of Late Provision SLGs for cancelled provision orders
  • Payment of SLGs for WLR sub-order types
  • Continuous payment of SLGs for repeat faults
  • Payment of SLGs for FTTC Dead On Arrivals showing ADSL service as working
  • Calculation of WLR3 late provision SLG payments
  • LLU MPF and SMPF late provision SLG quantum
  • LLU SMPF 12 week repair SLG
  • LLU MPF SLG payments on late KCI3/completion notice of repair

All parties have responded to the proposals. The initial responses have provided a spread of positions on the individual “asks”; from a number where agreement is highly likely through to those where OTA2 does not anticipate agreement will be reached.
The place holder for SLAs for Planning Activities made by industry was withdrawn and will be made in a later tranche of proposals.

Ethernet EAD

Further to activity initiated in July, CPs and Openreach continue to review the changes to SLA/SLG proposed by CPs. The most significant change CPs are seeking is the abolition of Deemed Consent. At this time, although some progress has been made, both parties remain a significant distance apart and the target date for completion of the negotiations, of December 2015, was missed. Progress on the SLGs still awaits a level of agreement and consensus on underlying order processes.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

At the December SMP a comprehensive update was given regarding the challenges with flooding in Cumbria. Details were shared as to the impact on Openreach fleet and challenges in restoring major links. An MBORC has been issued. In particular Openreach raised the suggestion on how to get businesses back and working and invited CPs to work with them on achieving this aim.
In addition to the normal service updates a comprehensive update was given on Complaints and Issues handling. Overall complaints had reduced with improvements in areas such as Engineers behaviour and quality. CPs were keen to match this view to their own internal experience through bi-laterals.

Finally a comprehensive update was given on SIM2 issues. In addition to a number of technical issues a Best Practice guide had been issued. Openreach were keen to understand any outstanding problems that CPs may still be experiencing. Overall CPs agreed that there had been good progress.

OTA2 tasks

OTA2 have been working with Openreach on the development of three new tasks.

  • How to achieve 100% provision on the day
  • How to move from reactive to proactive fault repair and avoidance
  • Broadband Faults – understanding customer solutions based on ‘big data’ exchange.

Following discussions with key CPs it was agreed that a more detailed delivery plan in the form of Gantt charts, tasks and measurables should be developed. In the first instance Openreach will develop the plan that will be enhanced with CP required actions.

Ethernet Services

Service delivery remains the area of most concern to CPs, in particular the lead time for delivery across all the delivery categories other than the CAT1 & Quick wins Category 2 orders (c85 days) and the Category 3 orders (c185+ days).

The Openreach ‘special offer’ on removal of cancellation fees for orders in the ‘aged order tail’ has been launched and has received mixed reviews from the CP community. The inclusion of the ECC costs has caused a number of CPs problems in determining how they would manage any liability or indeed how they might be able to pass any liability forward to their customers. It still remains to be seen if the offer will remove any of the ‘toxic tail’ from the order stack.

Openreach have started the process of engagement with CPs to move the product delivery to a differentiated order journey, based on category lead times. The initial step of this is to propose changing the Product Description and Contract to reflect the easier to deliver circuits - Quick Wins, Category 1 to have prescribed lead-times of 30 days and Category 2.1 circuits with 57 days lead-time.

The proposed changes to the contract will be circulated for CP consideration.  The proposal is for the changes to be ‘opt-in’ by default (so CPs would opt out – to remain on the normal 30 days + subject to survey).

Ethernet on EMP continues to drive a considerable amount of discussion and activity. The first steering and working groups have been held. OTA2 are working with Openreach to determine the best approach to developing the requirements capture and getting to a very clear set of specifications around systems capability and workable processes.

There is a significant challenge in moving the programme forward at pace to meet the CP requirements for a better experience and also the need to get off the legacy platform.

Number Port - Process Improvement Programme

Performance Dashboard – At the instigation of OTA2, the Industry Group have now launched a new performance dashboard which will enable the group to monitor their collective order handling and port activation performance. This will help the group to identify areas of weakness and to prioritise initiatives for improvement.

The performance data received so far (last 4 months) suggests the most pressing problem impacting  CPs (and their End Users) is a very high order ‘rejection’ rate which, in turn, is driving significant re-work and protracted order-handling times. This issue will be a major focus of attention/improvement in the coming weeks.

OTA2 have initiated bilateral performance reviews with 2 CPs who are consistently under-performing against industry-agreed SLAs for order handling. The objective in these discussions is to agree CP-specific action plans designed to improve performance.

Consumer Switching

The forum is aimed at providing the opportunity for all Stakeholders (including Ofcom) to share any concerns they have regarding Consumer Switching and to initiate appropriate plans for improvement.

Service Levels

Copper Provision: Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, is stable averaging 8.3 working days during the week commencing 16 November 2015 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair: Copper repair performance (LLU & WLR) appears to have deteriorated slightly with ‘on time repair’ averaging 69% & 75% (for LLU & WLR resp.) during the week ending 13 November 2015.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • Business Market Service Improvement Programme
  • OTA2 Tasks on Communication.
  • ELF Reduction Programme
  • Address Data Matching Integrity issues
  • WLR/LLU Process Development
  • Ethernet Process Development
  • Ethernet Strategic Systems Review
  • Consumer Switching Industry Improvement Programme
  • Urgent Service Restoration Process
  • Fixed Line Number Porting - Improvements
  • Service Levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • Infrastructure Service improvement programme



Rod Smith